OPENINGS & CLOSINGS: IZAKAYA IDA, ANTHI’S GREEK FOOD, NEW STARBUCKS, COHEN’S OPTICAL

A new Japanese restaurant just opened, but a delicious Greek shop has closed.

Izakaya Ida, a new Japanese restaurant, just opened at 141 West 72nd Street, the former home of Communal. They’re serving a wide variety of dishes, including ramen, sushi rolls, yakitori and other Japanese specialties. An early Yelp reviewer predicts that “I know it’s going to be a success for a casual lunch or dinner. I didn’t try the Ramen but appreciate the opportunity to have a vegetarian Ramen which is rare.” Thanks to Danielle for the photos.

Anthi’s Greek Food (a personal favorite) on Amsterdam near 90th Street has closed its doors and there’s a marshal’s notice on the door saying the landlord has legal possession. The small shop sold all sorts of Greek specialties, from delicious spreads to spiral Spanakopita. Thanks To Abra Nicolle Nowitz and Jeff Rosenblum.

A new Starbucks is slated to open on the Southwest corner of West End Avenue and 61st Street, several tipsters tell us. It will be next to the Soulcycle at 21 West End Avenue. Thanks to Lisbeth, Andrew and others for the tips. On a relative basis, that area is a Starbucks desert. You would have to walk almost five blocks to find another Starbucks!

Cohen’s Optical is open at 2618 Broadway near 99th Street. Thanks to David Brotsky for the photo.

The retail space next to 154 West 70th Street (once Cafe Mozart) is slated to become “a model apartment showroom for a 60-story building going up on Broadway in the 80s,” Lisa tells us. She spoke to a contractor on scene. It’s not yet clear which building it will be showcasing (we know of no 60-story buildings rising in the 80s, though there are some shorter buildings being constructed).

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 23 comments | permalink
    1. wombatNYC says:

      Anthi’s should have been something better. The place just looked dirty and the food was never properly covered . More love and caring could have changed it’s fate

    2. UWSHebrew says:

      Anthi’s closing really makes me sad. The owner worked 24/7 on his business, and was a very nice person. His staff were nice. For the past few years I feared I would wake up and see he was closed, as he frequently seemed stressed out and he had the most rapid “going gray” hair I have ever seen. I wish him the very best, and perhaps he can re-open somewhere, perhaps sharing a space, or maybe in a food court. A wonderful business has just left us on the UWS, I hope to see him bounce back. It goes without saying his pastries were top notch.

    3. Mark Moore says:

      I wondered how Anthi stayed in business. Now we know it’s by not paying their creditors. They were probably pushed over the edge by the dreaded scaffolding.

    4. MSD says:

      Anthi’s has been selling its food at the Saturday greenmarket on Manhattan Ave and W110th. Maybe it was also at other greenmarkets. Don’t know if closing their store changes this.

    5. Nicole says:

      They are nice people but honestly, Anthi’s needed to improve. Upper West Siders have become more discerning over the years. I think they could have done better if the store had been cleaner and they had used fresher ingredients. I prefer the hummos at Whole Foods to Anthi’s version with canned chick peas and insane amounts of garlic. Also, this kind of cooked food needs to move faster for it to be appealingly fresh. If it’s not, people won’t go out of their way to shop there. That said, rising rents seem to be pushing out a lot of small food businesses. Some useless chain of mass-produced goods will probably take its place.

    6. Carol says:

      I loved Anthis food and went there often til I realized a year ago it was just plain filthy. I stopped going and would pop my head in once and awhile to see if he’d cleaned the floors and walls but no going. Sad because I loved the fig yogurt.

    7. UWS40 says:

      Does anyone know if Izakaya Ida is Japanese owned.

      Tired of seeing make believe “Japanese” restaurants.

    8. UPPERWESTSIDER says:

      According to permits, 154 West 70th Street showroom is indeed representing 2255 Broadway (the former Essentials).
      http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/WorkPermitDataServlet?allisn=0003243788&allisn2=0002706044&allbin=1029658&requestid=2

    9. WestEnder says:

      There is no vegetarian ramen on the Izakaya Ida menu depicted on the yelp page (in one of the reviews).

    10. Young Sally says:

      I seem to be in the majority on Anthi’s….lovely people and the food could be great – they are related to a greek place on the UES but the name escapes me. but Anthi’s has been looking rough in recent years…although being next to the lotto/soda/beer/cigarette/snack food kiosk didn’t help. I used to go to Anthi’s all the time. The woman who worked behind the counter then – dark hair, quite thin frame – would always give me the chopped salad that wasn’t quite at its prime, largely because my cockapoo LOVED it. Elmo would wait patiently at the door for his “Elmo salad”

    11. Boopsie says:

      Lots of new Japanese restaurants opening in the neighborhood.
      Now I’d love to see some GOOD Chinese restaurants open.
      I miss Hunan Park and China Fun.
      If it weren’t for the Cottage on Amsterdam, my UWS would be a Chinese food wasteland.

      • joe says:

        If you want top notch Chinese, then go north of 96th street. There is an influx of incredible Szechuan and northern Chinese restaurants — including Noodle and Hot Pot cuisine. The trend was spurred by the large Asian student population at Columbia and the recent trend for these types of restaurants..

      • Noma says:

        jing fong?

      • Stuart says:

        I may be in the minority, but my family misses Silk Road. It was basic Chinese food like we grew up on, it was always crowded, and Frank the owner gave us a table when we brought our kids (he basically let us jump the line). We didn’t partake of the free boxed wine, but we did drink free sodas. A real loss for the neighborhood.

      • Michael G says:

        Han Dynasty? Xi’an Famous Foods? Red Farm? Flor de Mayo? Grand Sichuan?

        • lynn says:

          Do you mind if I ask which of these Chinese restaurants you recommend, or are they all equally as good? I’ve been ordering from 2 places (not on your list) and they’re both sub par.

    12. Kate says:

      Oh no, Anthi’s! That place had terrific food.

    13. sam says:

      WHAT????? In the 80’s? There developers cannot get away with going higher and paying a fine.
      HORRIBLE!